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Lankford Wants to Know Why the Federal Grants Process Has to be So Hard, Waste So Much Money

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A on YouTube.

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A on Rumble.


WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today participated in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing entitled, “Improving Access to Federal Grants for Underserved Communities,” in which he questioned Jeff Arkin, the director of strategic issues at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about the complicated and burdensome federal grants process and the wasteful spending that goes on in our federal grant programs when we are at $31 trillion in national debt and climbing.

Lankford also asked for a status update on implementation of his Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act, which is now law and requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the leading administrator of grant programs to create a comprehensive and standardized data structure to cover all data elements reported by recipients of federal awards, including grants and cooperative agreements.

As the debit limit debate continues and Biden continues to push for more and more spending, Lankford will soon release volume 7 of his Federal Fumbles: Ways the Federal Government Dropped the Ball to highlight wasteful federal spending and broken federal processes along with solutions to address them.


On the complicated and burdensome federal grants process Oklahomans have to deal with

Lankford: We have 51 federal agencies that distribute grants, 131,000 recipient organizations, 1,900 grant programs in the federal government, and in fiscal year 2022, the federal government spent over $1 trillion in taxpayers dollars in grants. So this is an incredibly large, incredibly complicated issue, and as Mr. Hanson just mentioned before, if you’re a small town, and you know that big towns get grants for water systems and for roads and whatever it may be, they think, ‘I have no idea where to even go to get it’…

On which grants are funded federally

Lankford: …What grants do we fund? We have $31 trillion in total debt. I think everyone on this dais is very very aware of that. The challenge is, we’re still having problems in the grant funding going out. We are pulling the thread on grant funding that’s out there. We recently found a grant for a study for a medieval renaissance study that’s going to be conducting a conference in San Antonio, and this is a federal grant to recreate the works of Shakespeare in a new cultural praxis in decolonizing the US-Mexico border lands. That’s a federal grant, and as if we haven’t had enough Shakespeare on that, we have a different grant that is actually out there that is a federal grant to create a virtual reality for Shakespeare so that you could put on VR glasses and then you would think that you’re in a Shakespearean theater interacting with other individuals. Now, again, Meta is doing this on a large scale. Why we have a federal grant to be able to create this system, I don’t know…